Sunlight on the Road, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro (French (born in the Danish West Indies), 1830–1903)


52.4 x 81.6 cm (20 5/8 x 32 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)





During the 1870s, many of the Impressionist landscape painters went to live in the small towns surrounding Paris. They painted the ordinary scenes of the nearby countryside with a fresh, direct approach, often working outdoors. The balanced composition and cool harmony of blues, greens, and creamy yellow give this river view a serene stability typical of the work of Pissarro, a leader in the group and an important mentor to Cézanne and Gauguin.


Lower right: C. Pissarro. 1874


Jean-Baptiste Faure (b. 1830 - d. 1914), Paris; possibly sold by Faure to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; 1919, sold from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 4258). By 1924, Robert J. Edwards, (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 2] (Accession Date: April 2, 1925)

[1] According to Lodovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, "Camille Pissarro, son art - son oeuvre" (Paris, 1939, vol. 1, cat. no. 255, p. 115), the painting was in the Faure collection and a note in the MFA curatorial file indicates that Faure's name can be found "written rather indistinctly" on the reverse of the painting stretcher. According to additional notes in the MFA curatorial file, Herbert Elfers of Durand-Ruel, New York, told Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA that Durand-Ruel probably bought the painting from the Faure collection. However, the gallery was unable to provide verification of this, stating only that the New York branch had acquired it from the Paris branch in 1919.

[2] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

Credit Line

Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection